Searching for a job can often be frustrating. You’ve sent so many resumes and cover letters, done everything you know can help and still you aren’t getting any calls for interviews. Maybe you should check what information the recruiters and hiring managers are receiving from you when they read your application documents. Their decision to not contact you for an interview is mainly based on the content of your resume and the way this information is presented. Here are few resume red flags you should prepare for:
Work history gaps. If the gaps in your work history are longer than 6 months, it would be much better for your job search efforts if you can show your potential employers that during that time you’ve been freelancing or furthering your education. Volunteering is another avenue for you to pursue to fill work history gaps and fix this resume red flag.
No career progression. Not necessarily in all professions, but in some fields you are expected to progress, to gain more responsibilities and better your job title and status. If there’s no progress in your career, those reading your resume might assume you don’t have ambition or that maybe your work wasn’t worthy of promotion. You can counteract this resume red flag by including accomplishments under your jobs.
No previous experience or education in the field. A resume of a career changer, someone who hasn’t been educated for the job and/or has no experience, might not be interesting to recruiters. They may think you lack direction in your career or that you are unemployed and desperately looking for just any job you can find. If your reason for changing your profession is different, use the power of the cover letter to describe to your future employers your genuine interest in this new career area and why they should choose you over the other educated and experienced candidates. If appropriate, mention your volunteering to fix this resume red flag.
No clear career direction. If you’ve often changed your jobs, worked in different industries and on different unrelated positions, the employers might assume you have no real interest in their job industry and will decide to call some other candidate instead of you. While this is a more difficult resume red flag to fix it is one to be aware of.
Multiple jobs with short duration. This is known as ‘job hopping’ and in such cases, hiring managers often think that interviewing and training these new employees would be a waste of time and money because they’ll also leave the company quickly. You could use a functional resume, but this format may make employers doubt whether you are hiding something from them. If you’ve been freelancing or working as a contractor, to provide better information, include in your resume your freelance or contractor job title and list all the people and companies you’ve worked for.
No high school diploma or completed GED/College Degree. This is often interpreted by recruiters and hiring managers as lack of ambition or laziness. Better option would be to completely leave the education section off your resume and explain in your cover letter how your practical experience in that career field will help their company improve the results.
Review your resume carefully and continue your job hunt with an improved resume and renewed energy and hope.
Dave Stevenson is known as a professional resume writer, he has been a professional blogger for more than 5 years. Find out more about resumes, CVs and cover letter on his website: liveresumeexamples.com